John 3:16, Part II

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.“ 

This is the second part in a two part series. We will only address the meaning of the word believe since it incorporates many ideas that need a concentrated focus.


To Believe


There are two very important questions to ask here. What is the criteria to believe (in Jesus) and what happens if we fail to meet the criteria to believe?

Believe in the Greek – πιστεύω pisteuó (pist-yoo’-o) it is a verb and means to entrust: to think to be true; to be persuaded of; to credit, to place confidence in. Another way of saying it is: everyone who believes, every believing person, or everyone believing;

In this context, it is generally accepted that it is a present active participle and implies the necessity of a continuous action. A continuous, active belief is the condition necessary for us to have eternal life. But what does this mean?

The Short Answer: Believing is putting your faith in the atoning work of Jesus, living for, and growing in God as best as you can in all the light you have: a complete and active commitment, continuing in the righteousness and  Love of God. 


The Long Answer


We know that if we continue in something we get better at it; in short we grow and begin to perfect whatever we are doing. Likewise, God expects your faith and knowledge to grow. So should you.

About the word faith: Many times in scripture “faith” is used interchangeably with the word believe.

So if I say faith or belief/believe/believing, I am referring to the general concept of the continuous act of putting our trust Jesus as noted in John 3:16.


Belief, its Meaning


When we believe in Jesus it is not merely acknowledging His gospel is true. Its putting our faith into action and placing our life into Jesus’ hands. 

In Genesis, God told Abraham to do this exact same thing. Remember, Abraham is the father of the children of promise (those who have been saved). This call of his faith is highly symbolic and applies spiritually to those who receive the promise.


Take your son, your only son,

whom you love, Isaac,

and go to the region of Moriah.

Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering

on a mountain I will show you.

~  Genesis 22:2


The children of the promise are to sacrifice to God those things most sacred to them. We are to even sacrifice our life for Him. Abraham was to sacrifice the most precious fruit of his life by dedicating it (his son) to God.


I beseech you therefore, brethren,

by the mercies of God,

that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,

holy, acceptable unto God,

which is your reasonable service.

~ Romans 12:1


Giving our life to God is considered our reasonable service. This begs the question, what may be considered unreasonable service? The next verse points us in the right direction.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world,

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

~ Romans 12:1


Those who choose to believe in Jesus must provide a service that is not conformed to the world, given over to the pleasures it offers. Because when we do, we fail to remain obedient to our calling and fall into sins of disobedience. The Apostle John explains this more concisely: 


My dear children,

I am writing this to you

so that you will not sin.

But those who obey God’s word

truly show how completely they love him.

That is how we know we are living in him.

Those who say they live in God

should live their lives as Jesus did.

Do not love this world

nor the things it offers you,

for when you love the world,

you do not have the love of the Father in you.

For the world offers only a craving

for physical pleasure,

a craving for everything we see,

and pride in our achievements and possessions.

These are not from the Father,

but are from this world.

So you must remain faithful

to what you have been taught from the beginning.  

~ 1 John 2:1, 5-6, 15-16, 24


Jesus’ Clear Examples


Jesus showed us four examples of the gospel’s effect on people’s lives. We will look closely at each one in order to understand what can happen to those who hear the gospel and fail to believe, those who believe for while yet do not remain faithful as John (and other apostles) warned, and those who continuously believe, building their faith through active trust and obedience.


The following are four classes of people and the results of their choices to act upon their belief (or faith). There are 3 possible outcomes for those who hear the word of God.

Let us review Jesus’ words found in Luke Chapter 8 below.


1. The Seed along the Path


A farmer went out to sow his seed.

As he was scattering the seed,

some fell along the path;

it was trampled on,

and the birds ate it up. (verse 5). 

*(A farmer is someone who preaches truth. The seed is the word of God).

Those along the path are the ones who hear,

and then the devil comes

and takes away the word from their hearts,

so that they may not believe and be saved.

(verse 12)


This first group are people who hear God’s word, they may feel moved in their heart, feel the Holy Spirit prompting them, but do not take the step and act to believe in their heart and trust in God’s word.

Many hear the word of God and just like seed on the path, His word is near, waiting to be planted in their hard, world trodden heart, but Satan comes along and steals the word out of their heart. This can happen many ways. Usually current worldly distractions lead them away and through the fruits of their continued sin God’s word and the prompting of the Holy Ghost is washed away. This person will perish in hell never receiving the work of God in their hearts.


2. The Rocky Ground


 Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up,

the plants withered because they had no moisture.

(verse 6)

Those on the rocky ground

are the ones who receive the word with joy

when they hear it, but they have no root.

They believe for a while,

but in the time of testing they fall away. 

(verse 13)


This second group are people who hear the word of God. They are convicted of sin, repent, and receive God into their hearts.

Their faith was soon tested (as it always is), and rather than being nurtured up developing strength, holiness, and perfection, their faith (or belief) remained in a heart that was fragile, carnal, and undeveloped in the ways of righteousness. Continuing in this heart-state kept them weak and led them away to perdition.

We must take a firm hold of the word of God, growing in grace daily, putting away all things contrary to His nature.

Unfortunately, those who don’t develop the seed God plants in their hearts will believe in vain if they continue in a state that facilitates falling away. 


Now, brothers and sisters,

I want to remind you of the gospel

I preached to you, which you received

and on which you have taken your stand.

By this gospel you are saved,

if you hold firmly to the word

I preached to you.

Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

~ I Corinthians 15:1-2


Paul reinforces this principle about rocky ground, and encourages us to hold firm, to pull out the rocks of the world out of our hearts, in order to nurture our faith until it is strong, tested, and proven.

Those who God considers elect are those who hold firm in what they believe. We must stand firm on all the principles of God’s until the end. When Paul uses the words “you have believed,” it has the same connotation as John 3:16: He wants them to remain in an active and continuous saving belief.

Just prior to this, Paul told the Corinthians that they are saved. Properly, this means that they have been delivered out of danger and into safety. This is principally God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).

~ HELPS Word-studies

As we actively and faithfully believe, we are being delivered from our previous acts of sin and its wages. Full deliverance is contingent upon our continued obedience until death (or the coming of Jesus).

Remember, if you believe, Jesus is delivering you from the penalty of sin, from having to commit any more sin against Him because it’s sin’s power over us has been vanquished. This is why we must persist, continuing to live out our faith in Him.

No longer are we to sin but to obey the same command that Jesus gave to the forgiven adulteress; Go and sin no more.


We know that our old sinful selves

were crucified with Christ

so that sin might lose its power in our lives.

We are no longer slaves to sin.

For when we died with Christ

we were set free from the power of sin.

And since we died with Christ,

we know we will also live with him.

We are sure of this

because Christ was raised from the dead,

and he will never die again.

Death no longer has any power over him.

When he died,

he died once to break the power of sin.

But now that he lives,

he lives for the glory of God.

So you also should consider yourselves

to be dead to the power of sin

and alive to God through Christ Jesus.

~ Romans 6:6-11 NLT


Once we believe, we begin to grow. We must remain in Him and allow Him to change our rocky soil. No grapes grow where there is no vine or husbandman. No vine grows where there is no nutritious soil. The seed has been planted in many hearts, yet only to whither on the vine.

Sin stops us from growing, destroys our connection to God, and leads to death.


I am the vine; you are the branches.

Whoever abides in me and I in him,

he it is that bears much fruit,

for apart from me you can do nothing.

If anyone does not abide in me

he is thrown away like a branch and withers;

and the branches are gathered,

thrown into the fire, and burned.

~ John 15:5-6

———-

No one who is born of God

will continue to sin,

because God’s seed remains in them;

they cannot go on sinning,

because they have been born of God.

~ 1 John 3:9 NIV

———-

But now you are free from the power of sin

and have become slaves of God.

Now you do those things

that lead to holiness

and result in eternal life.

~ Romans 6:22 NLT


3. The Thorny Ground


 Other seed fell among thorns,

which grew up with it and choked the plants. 

(verse 7)

The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear,

but as they go on their way

they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures,

and they do not mature

(verse 14)


This passage is interesting because the words “grew up with it” indicate that the people believed, put their faith in God, and were growing in Christ but they do not mature. At the same time they were believing in Him, they were also engaging in worrying, gaining wealth, and enjoying many forms of worldly pleasures or getting lost in recreational activities. 

This is the most troubling verse of all to me because most of Christianity envelops more time and thought in life’s worldly distractions than consecrating their life as living sacrifices, developing a noble and pure heart, which is the only reasonable service a Christian should do.

Jesus is saying that we need to be single-minded: not divided by a heart partaking in the things of this world and of Christ. A Christian should be markedly different focusing on God in daily living, acting, thinking, and all their intentions.

There is no keeping up with the Jones in the Christian life. We are to be completely free from those things that so easily entangle a carnal heart.


He gave himself for us to set us free

from every kind of lawlessness

and to purify for himself a people

who are truly his, eager to do good.

~ Titus 2:14 NET

———-

Come close to God,

and God will come close to you.

Wash your hands, you sinners;

purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided

between God and the world.

~ James 4:8 NLT

———-


4. The Good Soil


 Still other seed fell on good soil.

It came up and yielded a crop,

a hundred times more than was sown. 

(verse 8)

But the seed on good soil

stands for those with a noble and good heart,

who hear the word, retain it,

and by persevering produce a crop. 

(verse 15)


Who has a noble or worthy and good heart? It is clear from scripture that all have sinned and none are righteous. So, this passage cannot mean the word fell on hearts that are good. Verse 8 is talking about soil: the place and things that nurture the heart.

agathós – means inherently (intrinsically) good; as to the believer, describes what originates from God and is empowered by Him in their life, through faith.

~ HELPS Word-studies

Strongs Concordance describes good as having developed a good constitution or nature: γῆ, Luke 8:8; δένδρον,Matthew 7:18, in sense equivalent to ‘fertile soil,’ ‘a fruitful tree,’ (Xenophon, oec. 16, 7 γῆ ἀγαθή, … γῆ κακῇ, an. 2, 4, 22χώρας πολλῆς καί ἀγαθῆς οὔσης) and that it corresponds to the figurative expression good ground, denoting a soul inclined to goodness, accordingly, eager to learn saving truth, ready to bear the fruits (καρπούς ἀγαθούς, James 3:17) of a Christian life.


Hearts are make noble and good by allowing the living word of Christ to flow freely within and without the whole course of our life.

When we first receive the word, it is clear from the preceding three types of soil and the whole tenure of scripture that all are unrighteous and deserving of death. There is nothing we can do to make our hearts noble or good. 


And to the one who does not work

but believes in him who justifies the ungodly,

his faith is counted as righteousness,

~ Romans 4:5 ESV


After ungodly sinners receive the word, their hearts begin to change. This is an instantaneous gift and yet can be a time consuming process that begins to reveal itself as demonstrated by the love of God emanating from an increasingly growing, consecrated, and submissive heart.

Pauls describes above God’s pardon and crediting our faith as righteousness. Christ justifies us while we are yet ungodly and guilty of sin.

As a result, God cleanses us from guilt of our all our past sin, frees us from the power of sin, and enables us to live a life that is truly righteous. This is a what true pardon means. Not only forgiving us but enabling us to be obedient to Him.


Therefore, my beloved,

as you have always obeyed, so now,

not only as in my presence

but much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation

with fear and trembling,

~ Philippians 2:12 ESV

———–

Whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation

in His blood through faith.

This was to demonstrate His righteousness,

because in the forbearance of God

He passed over the sins previously committed.  

~ Romans 3:35 NASB


Faith is Reckoned as Righteous


 When we get saved, God passes over all our previous sins. Our heart has not been made pure yet because the predisposition to sin, to do evil (carnality) still remain. We are pardoned the moment we are saved. 

Our heart still needs to be purified. It still needs to be made noble as grows in that good soil that Jesus is developing.

This is where the act of salvation gets interesting. We have been pardoned. Not by any righteousness in us but by our belief in Jesus. He justifies the ungodly, not doing any work but having a faith (believing) that is counted as righteousness.

Keep in mind scripture does not say we are given Christ’s righteousness. We must always remember that God is just and He judges according to truth. Our salvation is based on faith and faith alone. We are still what we were in mind, body and soul. The work has just begun. He has only begun to make us holy. This is what He wants to finish.

Christ’s righteousness is not imputed to us as our righteousness. This is a common mistake based upon assumption. Scripture states that God reckons our faith as righteousness, which is conditional or us to be united with Christ who was raised for our justification.

Genuine saving faith is transformative and righteous at the outset. Jesus begins by imputing righteousness justifying our faith. Through obedience, our hearts being to filled with His love as He cleanses (purifies) our heart from of all its impurities stemming from sin.

Our imperfections remain since we are still human with limited in knowledge, perspectives, and understanding. It is our sinful character or nature that is being cleansed. Our memories, thinking, and habits remain as they become subject to His image and we become partakers in His nature.


seeing that His divine power has granted to us

everything pertaining to life and godliness,

through the true knowledge of Him

who called us by His own glory and excellence.

For by these He has granted to us

His precious and magnificent promises,

so that by them you

may become partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption that is in the world

by lust (by our evil desires or sinful nature).

~ Peter 1:3b-4


Partaking in His holiness is the natural outcome of continuous, active, saving faith. This can only happen in a consecrated life, undivided in devotion and commitment to Christ. 

He wants to strengthen your faith, conform you to his image, so when He comes (or you die), you can be confident, lacking in nothing with a clear conscious, unblemished, and unblamable in His sight.


May he strengthen your hearts

so that you will be blameless and holy

in the presence of our God and Father

when our Lord Jesus comes

with all his holy ones.

~ 1 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV

———-

Blessed are the pure in heart:

for they shall see God.

~ Matthew 5:8 KJV

———-

The purpose of my instruction is

that all believers would be filled with love

that comes from a pure heart,

a clear conscience, and genuine faith.

~ 1 Timothy 1:5 NLT

———-

For judgment will again be righteous,

And all the upright in heart will follow it.

~ Psalm 94:15 NASB


God wants to purify our hearts: to make it morally upright, noble enough to eschew (to consistently, firmly, and assertively turn away) from all evil and abhor sin (to regard sin as vile and utterly detest it all its forms) from the deepest recesses of your soul.

A christian pastor once tried to correct me and told me that the gospel is not about morality. This could not be further from the truth. From the moment Adam and Eve sinned, their moral compass was skewed and and in need to correction. God wants to restore our moral compass so that we can be with him.

We are given a warning in Hebrews 5:7-14 about falling away and the importance of living a righteous life. Without the moral compass God wants to restore in our heart, we will be unable to distinguish good from evil and will remain in sin.


Conclusion


Therefore, whosover believeth in Him will have transformed nature because they have a continuous and active faith in the only holy, upright, and righteous savior, Jesus Christ.

Love Him with all of your heart. If you cannot truly and completely do this, it is because even a tiny part of your heart is at enmity with God. Ask Him to continue His work of purifying your heart.

He can do anything. Don’t give up.

Through it all: He will perform and do His good pleasure in you . . . if you believe.


 

 

The Woes of Sin



The Curse of God


The fount of sin in Lucifer’s heart

billows out plumes of darkness

 to angels fallen and hearts of man

———–

In all God’s creation, harmony disturbed

like ripples in a pond

from a stone just thrown,

Sin troubles waters, obscuring our views

————-

Waves of iniquity move like a storm

weakened souls and worn hearts in man.

————-

All those subject to its reign,

are at enmity with God

in armies arrayed.

————-

Angels darkened by it were stripped,

of their heavenly and glory ‘quipped.

Man in toils in dust and swallows its seed

his life removed from God’s sweet Eden

————-

The flames of Hell flicker higher

stoked by sin in its fire,

Woe to those falling to its depths.

 plagued by wages that bring death,

The Earth is drenched, alone in its blood

a Sodom of wealth and enticements a flood.

————-

It pollutes our eyes and defiles our ears,

our mouths blaspheme and curse the years.

————-

Who can plead aright for it’s cause?

Who can stand and its defend its laws?

————

But there is hope in one just name

A God, a Son, a holy one

He’s come to destroy His enemy

to give us truth and make us free

Rejoice, rejoice all that see

and take your hope to eternity.


The Judgement and Command


Thanks be to God, Jesus came to redeem us from sin and all its ways . . . 

Neither do I condemn thee:

go, and sin no more . . .

 . . . I am the light of the world:

he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness,

but shall have the light of life . . .

————-

Again Jesus said in His righteous judgment

Ye are from beneath;

I am from above:

ye are of this world;

I am not of this world. 

I said therefore unto you,

that ye shall die in your sins:

for if ye believe not that I am he,

ye shall die in your sins . . . 

————-

If ye continue in my word,

then are ye my disciples indeed; 

and ye shall know the truth,

and the truth shall make you free.


Jesus offers complete freedom; to eternally break the curse and bondage of sin. He said that we can be truly free from if we know (live) the truth. Partial freedom is not what He has to give. He wants all of you and you to have all of Him.

We must hunger and thirst after righteousness (Jesus) as a deer pants in order to drink of His life giving water.

He is our life’s blood. In Him is purity known. Nothing impure abides in Him, Abide in Him, and He will abide in you.

Whosoever believes on Him should not abide in darkness. If the word of God abides in you, then ye have overcome the wicked one.


I write unto you, fathers,

because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

I write unto you, young men,

because ye have overcome the wicked one.

I write unto you, little children,

because ye have known the Father. 

I have written unto you, fathers,

because ye have known him that is from the beginning.

I have written unto you, young men,

because ye are strong,

and the word of God abideth in you,

and ye have overcome the wicked one. 

Love not the world,

neither the things that are in the world.

If any man love the world,

the love of the Father is not in him.

~ 1 John 2:13-15


The life-long journey in this wilderness will one day come to an end.

Whosoever has sinned, and has any wickedness, must purify himself in the light of God; even so, this must be done today, and every day until this journey in the wilderness ends. Numbers 31:19-20

 


A Blessing of Peace and Hope


And the peace of God,

which passeth all understanding,

shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus . . .

 . . . For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;

but righteousness, and peace,

and joy in the Holy Ghost . . .

 . . . Now the God of hope fill you

with all joy and peace in believing,

that ye may abound in hope,

through the power of the Holy Ghost . . .

. . . For God is not the author of confusion,

but of peace,

as in all churches of the saints . . .

. . . Be perfect, be of good comfort,

be of one mind, live in peace;

and the God of love and peace shall be with you . . .

. . . And as many as walk according to this rule,

peace be on them, and mercy,

and upon the Israel of God . . .

 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

Amen.

What is Piety?

Piety should be the primary or overriding characteristic of every Christian. Unfortunately, many professing Christians have been taught to disregard or even denigrate terms like piety, religion, religious, or other early biblical principles.

But these terms hold special meaning when we consider them with a pure heart.

According to John Fletcher, piety is, “the knowledge of God and the various relations he stands in to man, which leads us to adore, and obey him, in public and in private.”

Great multitudes of the church today have lost what it means to be pious. All too often, we live lives tainted with hypocrisy.

We worship on Sunday, and lust after sports teams on Monday. Or, are consumed the news of the day, or with routine shopping habits, we may covet a new shiny car or RV. Fill in the blank: I compromise by _____ . Inch-by-inch, it slowly eats away at our ability to humbly and wholeheartedly seek after the Lord.

When the church condones these behaviors, and they do. Just look amongst the churches and see how we choose to devote most of our time and money. Most look no different than the world around them.


Buy and large, we see compromise and tacit approval by those in high positions because of pressure from the pews. There is little difference between how the parishioners and the overseers live. This is antinomianism (the doctrine of compromise: continuing to sin that grace may abound).


Christ prophesied about this in the parables of the mustard seed and leaven. This post here lightly discusses the meaning of the parable.

Piety is the direct opposite and is the effect that a well-rounded, humble, and sincere love of God from the perspective of a  sacrificed life.

Jesus lived a life of piety.

All the Apostles but one, lived this piety. God has given us so many examples of how to walk this way.

Nearly every page alludes to this principle. Yet, I have not heard a pastor utter the word or or describe what it means to be pious in many years; until recently.


Jesus warned of the dangers awaiting for those who choose to continue on a path void of piety –

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light ~ Luke 11:34-36;

Darkness is sin my friend.


There is nothing better to keep sin at bay than clinging to the garments of the Lord. We are to teach this to your children by living it –

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons ~ Deuteronomy 4:9;


God is fighting for those who love Him with their lives –

Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God ~ Joshua 23:11;


For we are His temple and are instructed to prepare Him a place to dwell –

Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it 1 Chronicles 28:10;


If we don’t remain strong in doing this, the warning –

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are ~ 1 Corinthians 3:17;

Sin is the only thing that defiles the temple of God.


God wants us to fear living in iniquity as we work out our salvation –

And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts ~ 2 Chronicles 19:6-8;

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasurePhilippians 2:12-13;


He wants us to bridle our tongue and sin not –

I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me ~ Psalm 39:1;

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell ~ James 3:2-6;


We are not to be distracted by this world when God calls us to worship or assemble ourselves together for Him –

thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem ~ Jeremiah 17:21;

and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins ~ Hebrews 10:24-26;

Did you know that choosing not attend and participate (to your capacity) in an assembly is a willful sin?

‘He that readership sermons and good books at home to save his pains of going to hear, is a thief to his soul in a religious habit’ ~ William Gurnall.


We are to know that God meets all our daily needs, enabling us to walk in Him –

For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord ~ Hosea 4:10;


We are not to seek the approval of men –

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 6:1;


We are to protect all children even the unborn –

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 18:10;


We are to obey only the word of God in order to avoid the deceit of man regarding the Lord’s coming –

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many ~ Matthew 24:3-5;


We need to protect our faith and fear what can happen if we don’t –

Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee ~ Romans 11:20-21.


We are to live our lives in a way that does not cause a weaker brother to stumble and by our liberty cause them to perish –

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak . . .  and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ ~ 1 Corinthians 8:9, 11,12;


We need to dedicate our life only to the original teachings of the apostles and Jesus –

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee ~ 1 Timothy 4:15-16.


Those that have come to the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cast off worldly desires, fleshly doctrines and live a life free the practice of hypocrisy and willful sin.

If you are not doing all the God calls you to do as demonstrated by some of the examples provided above. I exhort you to get on your knees, plead to God for forgiveness, and find a church that practices these.

Very few churches do. If you don’t believe me than then believe Jesus’ words about the leaven (sin) and the fowls (tools of Satan) contaminating most of the church.


I have found that those that practice piety are generally found in holiness churches. There are people who practice piety in other churches but why kick against the pricks?

I have spent 30 years in various churches and this is the conclusion I have come to while seeking God with all my mind, heart, and strength. Now brethren. I love you too. This is why I write here.

My words may be filled with imperfections but please, love me as Christ calls us to love each other.


Frankly, I am tired of the pigs.

The Prodigal Son

In Luke chapter 15, Jesus tells us a wonderful story. It speaks of God’s patience, His loving kindness, and willingness to allow us learn from our mistakes however bad they may be.

11 “And he said, A certain man had two sons:”

This sentence hints at how God will be revealing a distinction between two of His children.


12 “And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. 13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.”


We see one of the sons is younger, which is an indication of immaturity. He has been identified with the father since he was born, so he is not new child. Just like us, we are identified with God when we are born again. This story is about someone who is immature, not unlike immature Christians who are tossed by the passions of their sinful nature, which still holds power over them.

Immature Christians are distinguished from new Christians. Immature Christian are particularly susceptible to the dangers in this story. They have had time to grow, yet have lingered in their faith allowing Satan to get footholds in different areas of their Christian life. As a result, they have allowed stumbling blocks that hinder their maturity. Rather than growing closer to God their compromise places them at risk of growing cold and falling from grace.

New Christians on the other hand are usually on fire, and eager to learn to grow in Christ. Where they end up later in life is up to how they are obedient to Christ. This story is a warning for all that are not mature in Christ.

What defines an mature Christian? Our Heavenly Father has most generously given us grace to grow in Christ. A Christian that has grown through grace has learned how to subject his thoughts, his body, and his time to holy living serving the Lord and hoping in His return. This is what the younger son had not developed. Like most of us, he was mesmerized by his sinful nature and its attraction to the enticements of the world.


Additionally, the son who knew he had an inheritance and decided to take it all and live his life of liberty; or so he thought. Naturally, when we sin, we go to a place far away from our Father’s presence.

God has given us the gift of eternal life. The moment we believe we are His sons and daughters. We are added as royal family members with untold wealth. Dare we squander such a wonderful inheritance? No we shouldn’t but we can, and we can lose it all!

Prodigal means to squander or waste wealth by living and spending money luxuriously. We as Christians do this everyday. It can be reflected in our lifestyle, our choices, and our fruits. If the average American spent time reading the Bible instead of the TV, they could have read it over 22 times in one year, spread the gospel to countless others, served in love (praying, feeding, etc.) rather than wasting our time with worldly and carnal distractions.


He lived riotously and lost everything . . . his entire inheritance! Let that sink in for a moment, everything his father gave him, not only his wealth, his identity, his home, his citizenship. They were all gone! If he would have died there, he would be forever separated from his father even if he was once his child.


 14 “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”

When we leave our Father’s presence for the desires of the world we become spiritually poor and the world around us offers nothing in return. Nothing that lasts, nothing that satisfies, nothing but emptiness. If we choose to stay in that land, we will die starving and alone. It istarting to sound kinda like hell to me but through providence the emptiness in our soul, is a calling, a gracious preview of what is to come if we don’t repent and find our way back . . .


 15 “And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”16 “And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”

The son abandoned his Father and became a citizen of another country. We are always a servant to someone, either this world unto sin and death or God, unto peace and life. There is no replacement for God. Not only that, but to the Jew; swine are unclean creatures (symbolic of sin). The boy had to feed and care for (the fruits of his sin). Not only had sin become a stumbling block, he now served it. There is one redeeming factor in sin; it shows us of our emptiness and utter need for God’s glorious redemption.


17 “And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.”

The hollow veil of sin showed the son his destitute nature. He knew his Father was good and hope was refreshed in him. God’s grace is so forgiving. He can make any sinner whole even one who once was a child of God that left his citizenship of heaven for the world. This is the beginning of repentance, salvation, and sanctification: knowing our state as a sinner and a servant of sin.


20 “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.”21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.”

The son had to act. He had to ask his Father for forgiveness. What is amazing here is that God knows what we are going to do. Even as we ask for forgiveness, it is already done. Did you notice that the Father ran to him? God wants everyone to be saved (we were all once a part of His family in the garden). God does not just wait for us, he helps us along as we come stumbling, starving, and naked. Oh, how we as prodigal neglect so great a salvation that the second Adam has suffered and died for.


 22 “But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:” 23 “And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”

There is great rejoicing when a child of God who lost his inheritance returns! We can be restored. Like David, after committing adultery and murder, he repented and the joy of his salvation was restored.


 25 “Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.”

Those that remain faithful here on Earth can sometimes be troubled when they see those who live riotously seemingly getting away with their sins. Be not deceived, we all get what is due to us. God rewards and judges us according to our works. This is not the same as salvation, which we cannot earn. Works are a result, a condition of saving faith, and is nonetheless critically important as a child of God.


 28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him. 29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: 30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.”

The faithful child who does not stray from their salvation may not realize their reward yet. They do things in secret for God, not getting the adoration of man, or immediate gratification. This can try our souls. Grace is suppose to teach us patience and understanding. We all have some maturing to do. That is why we are constantly told to endure, hold fast, and run the race as an athlete trains.


 31 “And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.”

As faithful servants, God wants to give all He has to us. He even wants to serve us, forever! Oh, to realize the glory awaiting our weary souls. We will be changed. God is going to give us a new estate, just wait. Nothing in this world even compares.


 32 “It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”

God and the angels in Heaven are right to rejoice for it is a miracle when someone who was dead becomes alive. God rejoices especially in this parable because one of his children had become lost and was found. If this child would have died in the foreign country, he would have been lost forever and buried by the swine he fed. There are many examples and warnings against losing what God has given us by forgetting the truth and turning back to sin.

Be not deceived: We need to rightly divide the word of God . . . and live it.

To think that you can live in sin and still be a child of God is a deception from the Devil that began in Genesis. It continues in churches today and is spread by evangelists in huge stadiums all over the world. This other gospel is like a train, nearly impossible to stop and in its wake, demons are dragging souls to Hell. Flee this path, cease from sin, avoid every appearance of evil and walk humbly and in holiness to your Father’s house. This life requires dedication and ceaseless commitment. Fear not, He will dress you, feed you, and keep you if you walk in Him.


I once road on this train and lived in a land far away from my God.

Frankly, I am tired of the pigs.

 

Lot and His Compromise

As Christians, we should not choose to allow or incorporate any worldly desires that compromise our walk with God. Compromise in any area, be it enticements from lust of our eyes, the lust of our flesh, or our pride of life, can cause our spirit to be overcome by our sinful nature.


The following is an example God gave to us as a warning against allowing our spirit to become attached to the seductions of this world. When we do, sin gets a foothold that can lead to darkness and death.

The story of Lot in the city of iniquity:

Genesis 19:15-20
15 “And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”


Lot was commanded to immediately gather his family so he could protect them from the wrath of God by leaving the city. This is also a picture leading up to the day of the Lord and His second coming. When the enemies of God have started pouring out terror and death upon God’s elect, He will give us a warning.

When we see these things, God will commands us to stand fast in the teaching of His word. God assures us that if we are living soberly in faith and love, He will  deliver us before he begins to pour out His wrath.


16 “And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.”


Do you see the power that sin and compromise had on Lot? He lingered and almost stayed until it was too late! As Christians we must be able to hear God’s voice and obey His instructions. Compromise that leads to sin can bring death and perdition if we don’t let God’s grace teach us hope unto everlasting life. Unbelief or a shipwrecked faith is dangerous thing to a Christian.


17 “And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed. ”


The angels warned Lot and his family not to look back while escaping but Lot’s wife could not resist the pull that Sodom and Gomorrah had on her sinful nature. Her spirit was overcome and she looked back. God judged her, turned her body into a pillar of salt, and sent her to everlasting punishment.


18 “And Lot said unto them, Oh, not so, my Lord: 19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: 20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one: Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live. ”


Lot’s love for the things of this world caused him to continue in disobedience and he rationalized his desire to go into another nearby city. The city was much more attractive than a mountain with caves.


Let us not continue or fall into the same type of compromise lest we reap the consequences Lot’s family sowed. There is more to the story that reveals Lot’s continued compromise producing bad fruit. There was no leadership, vision, or hope of salvation; only shipwrecked lives.

You see, his family lost direction in their continued downward spiral into compromise. Sin blinded them and made them deaf to the voice of God. What were the fruits of their labor? The Moabites and Ammonites; and we don’t hear from Lot again.

This is a good example for us. Please pray for your family and others.

The Way of Sin, the Way of Salvation

Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away (John 15:2)


Psalm 1

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so:
but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous:
but the way of the ungodly shall perish.


More of my story: When I said my prayer of forgiveness, God saved me of all my sins; past, present, and future. So I thought. I lived a life no different than a good moral nonbeliever (with the exception of believing in and talking about God) on and off for over 20 years. Sure, there were times when I was on fire. As time went by, my heart grew hard and my faith waxed cold. During that time I lost assurance of my salvation. I even doubted God. Sin had power over me. I could not control its desires. I listened to the pastors on the radio and at church. They all assured me of my eternal security and how Paul also sinned regularly and could not do good like he wanted as described in Romans 7.

God continued to show me that I was living in sin and had to stop. I finally listened.

I realized that most of what I had learned and applied to my life over the last 20 years had not worked. So, six months ago, after God had prodded me at my sister’s house in PA, back in 2012. I started asking questions. I was not getting answers from theology books or the many Bible versions I was reading, (NET, ESV, NLT, etc.). So, I put them all down and began to study the King James Bible. Then, God began to speak, I began to learn and he started the transformation of my heart and will.

One of the first things I wanted to find out was my eternal security. My church believes in OSAS and I wanted to as well. But the Bible was not showing me that. When I first got saved, God saved me of my sins. I had to repent every time I sinned and frankly got tired of it, so I just decided to live in sin and accept OSAS. What a mistake that was. I am convinced that if I died some time in the last 20 years, I would have awoken in Hell. I didn’t love God. I didn’t work for Him. I loved the world.

Everywhere I read in God’s word, He tells us to live a holy life and abide in His ways. Jesus never sinned. Thanks be to God, He finally began to give me power over my sin. Through persisting in Him like the widow, He heard my plea and is helping me be an overcomer. There is much to work on. I messed up a lot of my life over the last 20 years and have tons of junk piled up because of sin. It will take a while to clean up my back yard so to speak.

I still sin but it no longer has power over me like it use to. Now, its time to continue growing in faith. God will be faithful, that I am sure. Sin has overrun so many areas of our daily lives. I try avoid it where ever it is: the TV, magazines, internet, movies, advertisements, driving down the road, and even people watching. There all so many enticements encouraging us to sin. But I am thankful God is helping me.

When I read Jesus’ words, “Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?“, it troubles my soul. He is talking about us. My view on salvation is completely different now. Below are key words in bold that highlight God’s plan of salvation we are commanded to follow. Salvation is conditional. God gave us the story of His people as an example. He also gave us a complete road map in the New Testament.

God clearly instructed us to no longer submit to the power of sin. If we do, we are not abiding in Him and there are eternal consequences. We need to flee the dangers of sin lest it snares us and we are overcome by it.


The Plan of Salvation

(Acts 20: 20-21, 27) “and how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”

(Acts 26:19, 20) . . . “I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judæa, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

(I Corinthians 15:1-4) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


We need to follow all God’s instructions

(1 Corinthians 11:1-2) Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

(Matthew 10:38) And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
(Philippians 3:16-18) Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:

 

(2 Timothy 2:22) Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
(Hebrews 6:12) that ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

That means we need to live differently

(3 John 1:11) Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

(Luke 8:21) And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

(John 15:1, 2) I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

(Romans 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(Romans 8:12-14) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall liveFor as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God

(Galatians 5:19-21) Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

(Galatians 5:24) And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

(Ephesians 5:1-7) Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saintsneither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of GodLet no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them.

(Titus 2:11-14)  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present worldlooking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.


We Must Endure to the End.

(Matthew 10:22) And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

(Matthew 24:9-13) Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

(John 15:3-7) Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in meI am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

(1 Corinthians 15:1-2) Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

(Colossians 1:21-23) And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

(Hebrews 3:14) For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

(Hebrews 10:38-39) Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

(Revelation 2:10, 11) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.


We can Fall Away

(Hebrews 6:4-6) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

(2 Peter 2:20) For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.

(James 1:14-16) but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

(1 Peter 4:18) And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

We can come back

(Luke 15:24) for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

(1 Corinthians 5:5) to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

(James 5:19-20) Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.


We are not saved by works

(Galatians 2:16-18) knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.


Final Thoughts

Gods calls us to be holy as He is holy. My sisters and brothers do your best not to fall into transgression. If you do, we have a mediator. His ways are not our ways and they require daily sacrifice.

How did we get so far away from New Testament church practice?

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” 2 Corinthians 13:5


With verses like this I am at a miss how so much of Christianity can believe in a doctrine that teaches that if we say a prayer to accept Jesus into our hearts we are secure in our salvation. If we choose to continue in sin its okay, because once we said that prayer, we are saved.



Old Testament:

The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. (Psa 10:4)

Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it. (Psa 10:13)

The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. (Psa 11:5)

Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness; his countenance doth behold the upright. (Psa 11:6-7)

New Testament (poneros)

So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, 50 and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.,” (Mat 13:49-50)

Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: (Mat 18:32)

His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: (Mat 25:26)

And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: (Luke 19:22)

And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. (2 Thess 3:2)

If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil [poneros] deeds. (2 John 10-11)

(There is much to be learned from these verses about wickedness that has permeated Christianity that deserves further study.)


Paul also calls the church to “deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

I was taught that this meant the man will physically die and still go to heaven. Can Christians practice sins worse than non-Christians and still go to heaven? [“and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles“]

That is what I use to think until I Iearned that this man is mentioned elsewhere in Corinthians and it appears that he was restored to the church. Flesh in verse 5 can mean the human body but the Greek word also means sinful nature. I am inclined to believe that Paul meant the man’s sinful nature was put to death since his spirit appears to be saved as he was restored later in 2 Cor 2:5-8,

But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all. Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many. So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.

If this was not the man in 1 Corinthians 5:1, the principle would still stand in light of the context and the New Testament church practice of reflecting God’s holiness and longsuffering in love.

Paul also mentions him in 2 Corinthians 7:12 – “So even though I wrote to you, it was not on account of the one who did the wrong or of the injured party, but rather that before God you could see for yourselves how devoted to us you are.”

Paul also warned against sinning Christians here, “I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:19-21) and here: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. (Eph 5:3,4)


Our church is already in deep trouble and not in the early stages of falling away. We hardly practice Christianity according to the Bible. There is not one church that I am aware that will purge members for sexual immorality, coveting, idolatry, railing, drug or alcohol abuse, or covetous, or an idolater, or railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner, and then forgive and comfort one with open arms when he repents of his sins and comes back to live for God, like in 2 Cor 2:7-8. Usually we go on unaware of such sinful behavior because of our apostasy. We are so watered down in doctrine that sin has become rampant in most of our churches today with pastors even practicing these sins. Satan no longer has a foothold in the churches, he has control over many of them.


This concept of becoming spiritually dead after becoming saved is no different than the story of the Prodigal son . . .  for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. (Luke 15:24), And they began to be merry. You see here the father began to be merry and celebrate only when his son was found or alive again. The father does not celebrate or take pleasure in a son who is dead and lost. He is not part of his household only those children who are faithful like his other son.


 

Nor is it any different than what Jesus said about Christians that do not have a firm foundation in Luke 8:13, “They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

The good news is we can get right with God if we fall away but we must be willing to live in repentance, abide in the truth, and then nothing will be able to keep us from the love of God. Because sin will not only keep you from church, it can separate you from God.


Brothers and Sisters,

“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Tim 2:19)

There are eternal consequences for those who don’t.

In love,

Donald Kjellberg

Take heed, lest ye be part of the great falling away described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3

Jesus left us with the Apostles and their writings. Within those writings are instructions, warnings, and exhortations on how we should live and die for God. The following is one such passage. In it we are warned against willfully sinning and the eternal consequences that follow such behaviors.

Moses and the Israelites were given great privilege not dissimilar from the church today. They were a picture of us and were judged as we will be. There is good news, we can overcome through God’s grace. Do not be deceived, we cannot walk in sin as Christians and expect to share in God’s glory. Take heed lest ye become a part of the great falling away that is prophesied to occur before the Antichrist is revealed to the church.

These things must happen according to scripture before Jesus comes to gather those who are alive and remain. Jesus explains this in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Of interesting note, in Mark the question of the audience is answered. It is not just the Jews to whom Jesus is speaking. He is warning all of us of the troubles to come, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

If we take the examples from Paul below to heart, we can be rest assured we are on the path to glory and not His wrath to come. If you are guilty of the things described below (and the list is not exhaustive BTW, i.e., strife, envy, adultery/looking at a woman with lust, etc.) repent and turn completely away from those sins. You will fall and may have already fallen if you continue to practice them.

God sent His son so that no one may perish. He is longsuffering and does not want to condemn us. He wants us to believe in Him with an “active faith” not a dead faith. This is a continuous process that abounds with God’s grace, love, instructions, and ample guidance as we seek His face. It is our duty to submit and prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. God is faithful and will help us if we work to overcome as noted here, here, and here unto the end.

Here is the passage – 1 Corinthians 10:1-13:

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; and did all eat the same spiritual meat; and did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. 10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

We are instructed to pray that we are not led into temptation. Temptation is the predecessor to sin. If you find yourself in a situation that brings temptation, flee from it. If you cannot flee, remember God will not allow you be tempted above that you can bear. Obedient Christians do not live in sin. Not only are we are not suppose to continue in sin at all, we are commanded to abstain even from the appearance of evil. Properly equipped, we do not have to willfully sin. Sin may lead to death or it may not. But like the scripture said, “take heed” and walk uprightly. To consciously live in sin once you know the truth will send you to Hell. Don’t believe the lie that once you say the prayer of salvation, you are “good”. This is from the Devil. To those who hold the truth in unrighteousness, the wrath of God will be revealed from heaven. Don’t let your heart be darkened. If it has been darkened, pray the Lord will wash it anew. He can and He does. He wants to have you walk  walk in the light even as He is in the light and you will be cleansed from all sin and unrighteousness.

Once again, here is one last passage describing our fate as obedient servants or followers of sin. The choice is yours. God has given you all you need in His Living Word. BTW, in case you did not know, when the word word is capitalized, it refers to Jesus. When it is not, it refers to the word of the Bible.

If you are in a church where the preacher says you have to sin or it is okay to sin as a Christian, get out! Take heed, lest you fall like our ancestors did in the wilderness.

Antinomianism: The Tares in Today’s Church

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As I read God’s instructions for our life in the New Testament, I recently came to a new realization about modern Christendom. The problem is as old as Cain and also troubled the early church (via Gnosticism).

This included the doctrines of the Nicolaitans and Balaam which, allowed for unbiblical hierarchical church structures, infusion of paganism, and compromising moral values. These doctrines remain with us today. Some of it is subtle, most of it is pervasive, and it would make a great study within the larger context of Church history, but I digress . . .

Nowadays, Gnosticism permeates our church through the influence of Greek manuscripts. The Roman Catholic church (RCC) in an attempt to gain back her lost “reformation children” introduced the Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaticus through the 19th century Bible revisionists Westcott and Hort. These manuscripts are now the dominant codices of the Nestle Aland Greek New Testament that are used in all modern Bibles versions and taught in most Christian Bible colleges.

Today we see a slow movement of protestant churches moving toward the RCC through cooperative actions like the pro-life movement, the P.E.A.C.E. plan, and other human rights issues. Don’t get me wrong. I think abortion is murder and these other moral issues are important but we are called to separate from all forms of ungodliness (2 Corinthians 6:16-18). That is the exactly what ecumenism is: uniting religions, mixing paganism, fomenting more antinomianism (ungodliness), and ultimately (IMHO) bringing about the fruition of the Whore of Bablyon. If you would like to read how the RCC uses these movements to validate her position and authority over Christianity and other religions the official page is here.

Antinomianism will play an important role in the falling away of the end-times church and its not just about Catholicism. But what exactly is antinomianism?

With the discerning eye that God calls us to develop and act on (1 Corinthians 5:7, Ephesians 5:11, Philippians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:21), we can observe antinomianism in the emerging church, the Purpose Driven philosophy, the faith/prosperity movement, new evangelicalism, and others areas of modern Christianity. I am finding its influence all over my life: in my priorities, in my household, and what occupies my family’s time.

The following is an excellent explanation of antinomianism from bereanpublishers.com. As you read (it is long) please take your time, pray, and ask yourself how much does this describe you? We are called to become like Christ and not the world.

I pray that you . . . may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God,” Romans 12:2.

Sincerely, Donald Kjellberg

 ANTINOMIANISM

‘Antinomian’ is pronounced [an-ta-nome´-ee-ann].  The word itself can be traced back to the Greek of the New Testament.  It comes from putting two Greek words together: `anti (anti) and nomos (nomos).  The first word “anti” taken by itself means, “over against or instead of”, and corresponds to our English word “anti”, which means “opposed to”.

The second half of the word ‘Antinomian’, which is the word “nomos”, means: (1) a law, rule, standard; (2) a rule of life or moral conduct.  This is the same word that is translated “law” in “Do we then make void the law through faith?  God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”-KJV. Rom. 3:31.  Consequently, when these two Greek words are combined, it gives the meaning: lawlessness; without, opposed to or against laws, standards, or rules of moral conduct.

IS ‘ANTINOMIAN’ A BIBLE WORD?

Yes, it most certainly is (in the Greek Language, that is).  It can be found in the following form 25 times throughout the New Testament.  This time it again comes from taking the Greek word “nomos”, but prefixing it with the negative particle “a” to give the Greek word “anomos”.  The Greek word “nomos” was previously defined as: a law, rule, standard; a rule of life or moral conduct.  When the negative article “a” is prefixed to it, the exact same meaning as our English word ‘Antinomian’ is derived.  The Greek translation for this New Testament word is: lawlessness; the condition of being without law; having contempt for law.

It is usually translated (Strongs # 458, 459) using vague words like ‘iniquity’, ‘wicked’, ‘unrighteousness’ or ‘transgressor’ (in the Authorized Version-KJV).  It’s even more vague in all the newer translations.  Only 6 times was it clearly translated (KJV) as ‘without law’, ‘lawless’, etc., in 3 verses only.  However, understanding this word’s true meaning, brings new meaning and clarity to all verses that contain it.  Even though it is found translated ‘iniquity in Matt. 7:23, the words ‘Antinomian’ or ‘lawlessness’ could rightfully be put there instead.  It would then read, starting at verse 21, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?  and in thy name have cast out devils?  and in thy name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work “lawlessness” (Antinomianism).

Other verses that condemn Antinomians to hell are: “The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do ‘Antinomian(ism)’.”  “And because ‘Antinomians’ shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with ‘Antinomians’?  and what communion hath light with darkness?”  “For the mystery of ‘Antinomian(ism)’ doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.”  “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all ‘Antinomian(ism)’, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Matt.13:41; Matt. 24:12; 2 Cor. 6:14; 2 Thess. 2:7; Titus 2:14).  With this in mind, it is interesting to see what men of God have said about it.

WHAT’S ITS BASIC DOCTRINE?

In his late book, Paths to Power, A.W. Tozer defined it this way.  “Fundamental Christianity in our times is deeply influenced by that ancient enemy of righteousness, Antinomianism.  The creed of the Antinomian is easily stated: We are saved by faith alone; works have no place in salvation; conduct is works, and is therefore of no importance.  What we do cannot matter as long as we believe rightly.  The divorce between creed and conduct is absolute and final.  The question of sin is settled by the Cross; conduct is outside the circle of faith and cannot come between the believer and God.  Such in brief, is the teaching of the Antinomian.  And so fully has it permeated the Fundamental element in modern Christianity that it is accepted by the religious masses as the very truth of God.  Antinomianism is the doctrine of grace carried by uncorrected logic to the point of absurdity.  It takes the teaching of justification by faith and twists it into deformity.”

I know there are some (maybe you, dear reader) who might say, “That’s the gospel!  That’s Grace!  That’s what I believe and practice!”  Oh, if we would only take the time to seek God, pray and read the Gospel, unfettered by the “Doctrines of Men”, we would surely find that Antinomianism is ANOTHER GOSPEL (i.e.- not Christianity).

Charles Finney in the 1800′s spoke of it “as the opposite extreme to legalism.  Legalist are all work, Antinomians no work.  Professing to have yielded up their whole agency to Christ, they throw all responsibility upon Him and do nothing.  Under pretense of being led by the Spirit and of waiting for God to reveal His will to them, they give themselves up very much to spiritual indolence (idleness)1.”

Charles Finney

Noah Webster, in his 1878 Dictionary, defined Antinomianism as: “one of a sect who were charged with maintaining that, under the gospel dispensation, the moral law is of no use or obligation.”

1-Webster’s 1878 Dictionary defined ‘indolence’ as “inaction, or want of exertion of body or mind, proceeding from love of ease or aversion to toil; habitually idle.”

A BRIEF HISTORY

Interesting enough, the Church is being plagued today with Antinomianism more than ever.  In fact, it has almost “leavened the whole lump”.  This is not the first time that it’s crept into the hearts of God’s people unawares.  Historically, in Jeremiah’s day when Israel was deeply backslidden and God’s prophets were crying out against their wickedness, Antinomianism was the root cause.  It was also one of the first signs of decay to hit the early Church.  As the Bible teaches, the early Church fathers were well acquainted with what it was, and like Paul, found themselves in an ever present battle against its deadly effects.

By the 1700′s, Antinomianism had established itself so deeply in most of the colleges that produced pastors, that almost anyone simply professing faith in God was considered a Christian.  This condition having spread to this country as well, found heart-motivated morality in the Church almost non-existent.  After much sincere prayer and true repentance, a real ‘Revival’ did come from God during that time through men such as George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards and others.  This revival reversed the course of Antinomianism but for a short while.  By the start of the 19th. century, Antinomianism had made a strong comeback.  Charles Finney and other Godly persons, who lived during that time, again found themselves facing it’s damning effects.  Although Finney and others succeeded in stamping out numerous strongholds, it didn’t take long for it to make a comeback in this century.

This century has seen a huge rise of those who promise many ‘would be Christians’ liberty, while “they themselves are the servants of corruption” (2 Peter 2:19).  Never before have there been so many who profess Christianity with their mouth, but live like and love the world.  Why?  Because Antinomianism has been the accepted gospel almost universally since the 50′s. 

WHY IS IT WRONG?

The origin for Antinomianism is rooted in a general misunderstanding concerning the difference between what is meant by “conditions” and “works” (earnings/merits).  Many devoted, but spiritually ignorant, religious teachers, in their zeal to explain the truth of our unmerited salvation and our inability to pay the debt for our own sins, have fallen into heresy.

“Heresy!  That’s a pretty strong word”, you say.  Yes, but that’s exactly what it is: “heresy”.  The word “heresy”, from the New Testament Greek word “airesis”, simply means “a taking, school, selection”.  A modern day dictionary defines it as “a school of thought”.  The word represents a popular practice among the religious crowd.  It describes the taking of truth and then selecting one’s favorite part or doctrine contained in it, over-emphasizing that point, and teaching it, usually to the complete negation of the rest of the picture. 

Heresy in the Garden of Eden?

A perfect example of this is in what the devil told Eve in the garden of Eden.  What he said wasn’t entirely wrong.  He just excluded parts of the truth and over-emphasized other parts, to such an extent, that what was said became a lie.  He said, “Ye shall not surely die:” (Gen. 3:4).  This was true in one sense, only he simply left out the rest of the facts.  It was true that they wouldn’t die, right then, probably based on their own vague understanding of death at the time (Bear in mind that up to this time no one had seen death).  But what the devil left out was a big deal.  They would indeed DIE another way, spiritually, right then, according to God’s real meaning.  Their body would also start dying, from that time on as well.  So… not presenting the whole picture, turned that short, partial truth into a huge deception.  Next verse:

“For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:5).  Again, what the devil said was exactly true.  However, if only he had added in the parts that he purposely left out, the whole picture would have taken on an entirely different meaning- a pretty scary, and ugly one at that.  It’s like signing on the doted line without reading the small, fine print, ever!  Considering how the devil’s heresy ruined the human race’s earthly future, does one have to wonder much at the root source of such a heresy as Antinomianism? 

Earning by Works versus Conditions

“Taking” or focusing in on the truth, that we do not “merit” or earn God’s salvation and its attending blessings, has led many into Antinomianism.  Yes, it IS true that we do NOT earn our salvation, nor our relationship with God.  But that does not negate the fact that God DOES HAVE HIS “Conditions” respecting salvation.

Suppose, for instance, I were to read in my newspaper about a free milk giveaway happening at the local dairy.  Let’s say the newspaper states that between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. on Thursday, March 16th., the dairy is pleased to give to every person over the age of 18 a fresh gallon of milk, for free.  From such an ad, I’d understand that the milk would to be free, right?  I wouldn’t have to pay for it or earn it.  Also, anyone over 18 years old could receive a gallon if they wanted.  Therefore, it would be fairly clear that there would be NO WAY anyone could earn, merit, pay for or deserve a free gallon of milk.  It is a free gift.

However, at the same time, there are definite “conditions” to receiving the milk such as:

Firstly, one had to be over 18 years of age.

Secondly, they had to be present at the dairy.

Thirdly, only between the hours of 10 A.M. and 3 P.M. on Thursday, March 16th. could it be received.

Meeting Conditions does NOT mean earning by works

By being at the dairy at the required time would not mean that anyone had earned, worked for or deserved the milk.  No one would even be considered if they weren’t present there between the appointed times.  Merit, works and deserving it have nothing to do with it.  It is based totally on grace -i.e. the kindness of the dairy to give it away.  The dairy is giving it away simply because they want to.

On the other hand, there are definite conditions to being able to receive a gallon of milk.  How happy a person is about being able to get the milk makes no difference concerning whether they receive it or not.  Even “faith alone” is not the deciding factor in them receiving the milk directly.  If they don’t make it to the dairy in person as specified, they will simply loose out.  The fact that these conditions have to be followed has nothing to do with anyone earning the milk or whether or not it is a gift.  Having conditions has nothing whatsoever to do with the love, kindness and tender hearts of the dairy owners.

In the same way, parents sometimes have conditions for their children.  Because of LOVE, parents may wish to give or do something for their children.  However, just because they make it conditional, like first having to have either their room clean, face washed, hair combed or such like, doesn’t make the gift any less a gift.  Knowing how children can think, only the mind of an immature child could think they were earning it.  What does this tell us about the level of thought Antinomians use?

An example of salvation’s “conditions” was taught by Jesus in His parable concerning the wise and foolish virgins (Matt 25:1-13).  The primary difference between the wise and foolish was whether or not they had met God’s conditions.

(Side note: some Antinomian teachers, in trying to explain this away, say that the foolish virgins only missed the rapture, etc., but will still have a second chance after the tribulation.  We ask: when does the Bible say they get their “second chance”?  Instead, Jesus said to them “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you”.  In every place where Jesus says He doesn’t know them, the consequences are always disastrous eternally.  So how do these “smooth talkers” get such a conclusion?  Certainly not from the Bible.  I’d hate to teach or base my eternal future on such unscriptural doctrines of men.)

WHY DO ANTINOMIANS EXIST?

Antinomianism is an entire doctrine built on religious confusion, or, more precisely, a complete lack of understanding concerning God’s “Conditions”.  Sad to say, its root cause goes even deeper than misunderstanding “conditions”.  The main battle isn’t really between bumbling heretics and those who understand God’s “conditions” – it’s between humanism and Christianity. 

Humanism

Humanism is summed up as this: the end of all being is the happiness of mankind.  Its focus is on two words: ‘happiness’ and ‘mankind’.  Therefore in humanism, everything a person does is centred around humanity’s happiness here on earth. 

Christianity

Christianity can be summed up as this: the end of all being is the glory of God.  Its focus is on two words: ‘glory’ and ‘God’.  Therefore in Christianity, everything a person does is centred around what pleases God, nothing less!  This is why Jesus could say to his close friend and disciple, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men”; and “Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven” and “If any will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:23, 7:21, 16:24).  Do you see?  The entire focus is on God and His glory, not man. 

Let’s Get Together and Make Peace (on earth)

At the root of Antinomianism is humanism with a little Christianity mixed in, for good measure.  How’s that?  Instead of pure humanism, which is focused solely on man’s earthly life, this mixture looks like this: The end of Antinomian “Christianity” is the happiness of mankind both on earth and in heaven.  Notice that it STILL focuses on the same two words that humanism does: ‘happiness’ and ‘mankind’.  The only difference between humanism and Antinomian Christianity is this: mankind’s happiness has been extended beyond the grave.  Does this mean that real Christians aren’t happy?  No!  However, they take their happiness in bringing glory to God, by doing only what pleases Him, never themselves.  This usually goes over the head of an Antinomian.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that in Antinomianism, like humanism, everything the Church does (especially those in leadership) is centred around humanity’s happiness.  This is the root of Antinomianism.  Once we understand this, everything else that puzzles us about ourselves, &/or our Antinomian friends, will disappear: i.e.-the lack of heart motivated obedience to Christ; the struggles against giving up basic, elementary things like TV, worldly videos, sports, dancing, smoking, worldly music, worldly friendships, etc.; the lack of interest in personally reaching the lost; and the strong attachment to, and love for, this present world.  This is why, when the subject of God’s “conditions” for salvation comes up, for an Antinomian, it does not compute.  Because an Antinomian’s beliefs are rooted in humanism, when they hear the real Gospel, they think it’s heresy or some strange “Cult”.

Please remember that humanism is at the heart of
Antinomianism when you read the rest of this article.
 

How Did They Mix Christianity with Humanism?

Imagine this: you’ve enrolled in an Air Conditioning School.  You try very hard to learn air conditioners, but it’s extremely difficult.  You just can’t seem to remember the theory, much less fix anything.  How it all works and fits together is beyond your comprehension.  You and air conditioners simply don’t get along.  You doubt the problem is your lifelong poor mechanical aptitude.  Maybe the school is wrong, so you decide to quit.  After you’re out, you begin to think about a theory of your own.  You go so far as to put down on paper, a whole system for understanding air conditioners, all based entirely on your own misconceptions.  Furthermore, you start your own air conditioning school.  You’ve always been a good talker.  Eventually, several of your students believe your theories, although nothing ever seems to work out quite right.  Nevertheless, they learn to have lots of faith in that coming day when the class’s air conditioners will work correctly.  Besides, they “feel good” about themselves and your simplified rationalizations, and that’s got to be more important.

On the other hand, some of your other students are growing frustrated at your bumbling.  They just can’t accept the fact that nothing in practice works right.  They even go so far as to tell you where they think you’re wrong.  Never mind that these thinking students are the only ones who ever manage to fix any air conditioning problems.  That isn’t what matters to you, so you accuse them of “causing divisions” and “defying authority”.  When they continue to disagree, you have them removed from your school.

Sound crazy?  Well, guess what?  That’s exactly how this doctrine of Antinomianism came about.  Only difference is that since it involves the spiritual, many consider theology mystical, hard to practice and abstract.  Consequently, most never even stop to analyze Antinomianism to see if it actually works like scriptural Christianity.  Instead, too many enjoy being on spiritual “Auto Pilot” because their ears feel good.  True, they might be constantly falling into sin; their lives &/or family’s spiritual lives are a mess, but at least they can “think” they are “saved”, until they die and find out the truth (after it’s too late).

Please dear ones; read your Bibles; study and learn about your heritage.  Is this how the early Christians lived and walked?  No!

Somehow Antinomians see the desire to satisfy God’s “conditions” as trying to earn one’s salvation.  Antinomianism has its entire focus on one piece of the truth – that is: we don’t “earn” (merit) our salvation.  But, the rest of the picture “conditions”, is not only neglected, but actually taught and warned against.  What this means is that perhaps millions are on their way to HELL while believing they are going to heaven.  What a really scary surprise that’s going to be.

Can you imagine reading an ad someday about a new, revolutionary medicine that cures cancer and AIDS completely, instantly?  Imagine hearing about it at special meetings, then going to months of seminars and being taught all about what it does and how to use it.  Only one problem, though.  No one seems to know how or where to actually get this marvelous cure-all.  What would you think?

If you think that’s bad, then neglecting and even discouraging hungry folks from knowing about God’s “conditions” to His blessed gift of salvation has got to be worse!  That’s exactly why Antinomianism is one of the worst and most dangerous heresies going.  God’s “conditions” concerning salvation are more than just “believing” and “accepting” Christ.  Otherwise explain what Jesus meant when He said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 7:21).  Or what about “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works”? (Matt. 16:27).  How about the scene in Matthew 25 with the sheep and the goats?  Both apparently believed in Jesus and answered Him in a way that implied familiarity with who He was.  However, the goats failed to fulfill His conditions as outlined there, no if’s, an’s or but’s about it. 

THE OUTCOME

The fruits of this cancer are readily seen.  Just compare the difference between the witness real Christians had in Wesley’s, Finney’s, Menno Simons’, the Moravian’s and the Apostle’s day to that of today.  Instead, the modern Antinomian comes to believe that they are “free in Christ” -free to do whatever they want, whether it is the will of the flesh or God’s.  ‘A taking’ (heresy) of the Scripture which says, “All things are lawful unto me” (1Cor. 6:12; 10:23) out of context, effectively makes Antinomians a law unto themselves (licentiousness).  Consequently, whatever happens to be the day’s conviction or lack thereof, is the way they live.  Instead of God, they base everything on whether their motives are right.  Instead of God’s will, if they can rationalize something, according to either their own or some respected “believers” example or teaching, they usually feel perfectly at liberty to do whatever they want.  You can hear them say how God “told them” it was okay to do this or that, no matter what the Bible teaches.  They soon become experts in examining the limit to which any of God’s moral laws can be stretched (legalism), while still maintaining a minimum show of Godliness.  Because of this, their lives speak to an unbelieving world and say, “We are delivered to do all these abominations” (Jer. 7:10).

Why did God say in Malachi 2:17, “You have wearied the Lord with your words”?  It was because the Antinomian element was saying, “Everyone that does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them.”  I’ve actually heard pastors preach that we don’t need to obey God unless we want to be used by Him.  I’ve seen teaching tapes offered which explain: “It’s the Heart that counts.  God looks at our hearts NOT at our outward actions.  God knows and sees our intentions and it’s our heart that counts with Him.”  Such theological nonsense must have been similar to what the prophets Malachi and Jeremiah heard.  God, in rebuking the prophets and pastors, said, “I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem a horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none does return from his wickedness.” (Jer. 23:14).  Sounds like today, where sinners are being comforted with, “It’s okay, God accepts you just the way you are.  He knows you want to stop smoking, drinking, chewing, cursing, hating, loosing your temper, coveting, rock and rolling, being worldly minded but He loves you anyway.  Just have faith and everything will turn out al…lll right.”  Maybe my Bible is different for theirs, but I don’t think that’s going to cut it.  There are huge lists in Rom. 1:29-31, 1 Corth. 5:11; 6:9-10, Gal. 5:19-21, Col. 3:5-6, Rev. 21:8, Ez. 18, etc., detailing exactly what will happen to folks who continue in such things.  Oh, Lord, please have mercy on us.

The Antinomians (or as some call them “Carnal Christians”) have been taught how to encourage themselves by imagining that the holy men of old were just as carnal as they are.  “They heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2Tim. 4:3-4).  Instead of shock, sorrow and sadness, these religious worldly-ans actually enjoy hearing sermons about David’s adultery, Elijah’s fear of Jezebel, Peter’s denial and Paul and Barnabas’ disagreements.

Some believing that their worldly life-style (death-style) is Christian, have proudly placed a socially acceptable metal fish or bumper sticker on their car amongst their other ungodly, worldly stickers.  With their bumper sticker neatly displayed, they have no convictions about the opposing messages being conveyed to the “lost”.  As they zoom in and out of traffic on the city’s highways, it never occurs to them that they are witnessing to the world in a negative way.  Since they feel “free in Christ”, exceeding the posted speed limits does not bother them in the least.  As it turns out, if you didn’t know them, it would be extremely difficult to tell them from your good ole American carnal sinner.

How can anyone tell the difference?

They essentially act just as impolite and worldly on the highways and in public places as the rest of the world.  Some are not even ashamed to state to the whole world that they are just like everyone else by displaying a “Christians aren’t perfect, only forgiven” bumper sticker.  Instead, Jesus and Paul said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  “I have not found thy works perfect before God.  Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.”  “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned?  It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out.  He that has ears to hear, let him hear.” (Matt. 5:48; Rev. 3:3; Luke 14:34-35).

In his recent article published in the “Herald of His Coming” April ’95′, Elmer Klassen addressed this so aptly with the following:

“Why ask people to trust in Christ when it does not make much difference if they do?  When there are as many divorces within the Church as outside the Church, the habits of the Christians essentially the same as non-Christians, the pleasures of sin just as much enjoyed in the Church as outside the Church, why all this effort of making people Christians?

“The Bible tells us that the Gospel is the power that will stop people from sinning, but if this is not happening in the Churches there is something basically wrong with our preaching.  The Book of Romans does not urge us to prepare for a future heaven but promises a changed life here on earth to the one who will believe the book.  I seldom find someone who does.  To find someone who will confess chapter one as true is hard to find.  And to find someone who will continue to believe the Gospel according to Romans on to chapter 16 becomes even more difficult.

“The Gospel according to Romans promises a completely changed life to whoever will believe it.  But who believes this and confesses the book of Romans to be true in his own life?  Could it be that we are so in the habit of reading the Book in an old style and in such a traditional way that the Book has lost its power to change lives?” (Used by permission) 

F-L-O-D-D C-H-R-I-S-T (pronounced “flawed kris’t”)

Claiming to live by the Spirit, Antinomians have been taught to accept the fact that they don’t know God’s will for their lives, nor really hear His voice.  There is little evidence in their daily conversation to suggest that they are soon to be married to their Beloved, Christ.  No longer is Christianity to the Antinomian a passionate reunion and love affair with their God who died in agony for them.  On the contrary, the Antinomian is one who feels God is just around to protect and help them.  He’s their buddy, “daddy” and after their fun and frolic here on earth is over, they believe they will have a beautiful, ‘private’ split level home in heaven waiting for them.  God is viewed as their servant who on command heals, makes them rich financially, and blesses them with anything their selfish little heart lusts after.  Oh yes, they love to claim all of God’s promises of blessing for Israel in the Old Testament, but turn right around and claim that the New Testament frees them from any wrath or punishment, also promised to Israel for disobedience.  No more are the warnings of Jesus and His followers in the Bible taken at face value.

F-This “Carnal Christian” theology has negated any ‘Fear’ or respect for God and His judgment.  When they’re told something heavy, all they know is how to categorize and systematize it as fitting into this or that doctrinal slot.

L-Antinomians are essentially ‘Lawless’, hence the name, Antinomian.  But God says to them, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” -Prov. 28:9

The scripture states very plainly “Do we then make void the law through faith?”  That is about as plain as any statement could get.  It asks the question in such clear, precise language that even a child could understand: “Do we” (you know, the very ones who wrote the New Testament; the exact ones who established each and every doctrine in the first Church; the particular ones Jesus had taught concerning the exact meaning of the New Covenant), are they (Paul in particular here) now eliminating the law of God in our lives because of our justification by faith?  The answer: “God forbid (newer versions say “not at all!”, “By no means!”) yea, we **ESTABLISH** the law.”-Rom. 3:31.  To establish something does not mean to put it out back in the wilderness or in a hidden place where no one has to see it or deal with it.  So how do Antinomians come off with such an opposite idea that we aren’t under any obligation or responsibility to obey God’s moral law and commandments?  Answer: It’s simple.  Christianity was only meant to be followed and understood by those who had been born again by the Holy Spirit.  It ONLY applied so that “they which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (2Cor 5:15).  Bear in mind that Christianity’s atmosphere and environment was only for those who were DEAD to themselves.  So when clever salesmen, in the 4th century down to our present day, started selling the benefits of the Christian life to the masses before they had been duly put to death and buried with Christ, the result was and still is our counterfeit belief system-Antinomianism.

O-As far as ‘Obedience’ is concerned, they view it as optional or only required when they feel “Led“.  Their excuse that they are “not under the law” usually takes care of any conviction for disobedience.

D-Their lives are generally marked by the same ‘un-Disciplined’ life style manifested by any other moral non-Christians.  They live, eat, socialize, entertain, fear, dress, react, play, talk, buy, sell and enjoy just like the world.  Daily life for them is influenced by the world’s circumstances, not by God’s ordered discipline.  They bounce out of bed in the morning without any thought of having a disciplined, ordered spiritual plan throughout the day.  Consequently, their day consists of being “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” based entirely on circumstances (Eph. 4:14).  They think it’s natural to set their hearts on worldly goals.

Many Antinomians are easy to spot, because of the following trait:

It is extremely hard, if not impossible, for them to keep their attention on anything meaty or deep spiritually if it’s not exciting and new to them.  They usually won’t read or hear anything that goes beyond their “feel good” attitude and beliefs.  Things like praying for hours, dying to self, teachings against the latest fun spiritual manifestation (however false), sitting still and reading the Bible for hours, or attentively listening to someone’s heavy spiritual thoughts are usually considered boring.  (I wonder how “bored” they’d be, having to live in abject poverty with a leaky roof, in a Communist country).  One gets the feeling that they’d have to be dying before they’d listen to anything sobering.  Most books and tracts (like this) of a serious nature usually collect dust.  If it isn’t fun or “UPLIFTING”, they’re not interested.  They have the same attitude a child does when let loose in a toy store.  They can’t wait to jump from one exciting toy to the next.  While they’re in the store surrounded by toys, they could care less that there is a bottomless pit right outside the entrance waiting for them.

Antinomians are on a spiritual merry-go-round.  One moment they’re “UP”, and the next they’re “DOWN”.  Their spirituality is constantly being “tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine” or crisis in their life.  It never dawns on them that there is something that they are “DOING” that is responsible for this.  It’s like allowing little Johnnie to sit in front of Television all day long or do as he pleases, and then being surprised that he’s rebellious and ungodly in his teenage years.

What this verse means: “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” is beyond the Antinomian, because their understanding has been made “of none effect through” their “traditions”-Antinomianism. (Gal. 6:7; Mark 7:13)

D-They base their acceptance of someone as a Brother/Sister almost entirely on whether this new Brother/Sister’s ‘Doctrines’ line up with theirs.  If this Brother/Sister is in agreement with their own doctrinal statement, then they must be Christians.  This is not to say that doctrines aren’t important.  But these Churchians pay more attention to what comes out of someone’s mouth (words), than the person’s good fruits or lack thereof.  This is very interesting, especially in light of the fact that the “the devils also believe, and tremble”- (James 2:19).

C-Although they profess faith in Christ and His Bible, they usually have no concept of how ‘Convictions’ relate to their everyday life.  I once met a newly arrived pastor who told me all about the new Church he was pioneering.  He told me about his concerns for the town and his hope for the ‘lost’ to get ‘saved’ at his Bible studies.  After spending time on that, he went on to tell me about his upcoming job interview.  He had applied at the local cable television company to be a salesman for their movie channels, just because he heard they were hiring.  Somehow, he saw no connection between his spiritual concerns for the lost and taking a job that helped spread violence, drugs, sex and rock and roll.  Amazingly, he had no concept on how his own convictions respecting his faith translated into his daily life.

God calls such persons “double minded”, which comes with His promise as well- “let not that man think that he shall receive ANYTHING of the Lord” (James 1:7).

Because an Antinomian’s Christianity is focused on fulfilling their own happiness, it is easy to see why their ‘Convictions’ aren’t heart motivated.  They only relate to their ‘Convictions’ (as they call them) whenever circumstances closely coincide with what they’ve been “TAUGHT”.  When a situation comes up that doesn’t closely coincide with their intellectual “rule book”, they aren’t ‘Convicted’ in the slightest.  This is because their ‘Convictions’ are based solely on abstract “beliefs” that are in their mind, not written on the “fleshy tables of the heart”.  This explains why an Antinomian may, one time, feel ‘Convicted’ against helping someone gamble or buy liquor at a Casino or Saloon, but, the next time, will have no ‘Convictions’ whatsoever about buying other items from, or doing work, for a Casino or Saloon.  On the other hand, a true Christian would know, in their heart, that whether they gamble or just buy gasoline from a Casino or Saloon, they are helping to support its ungodliness, and would become “partakers of other men’s sins” (Eph. 5:7; 1Tim. 5:22; Rev. 18:4).

H-Antinomians are constantly trying to re-invent the wheel.  They are grossly ignorant when it comes to knowing early Church ‘History’.  Consequently, they are usually seeking to find some new spiritual truth, experience or doctrine.  Whole Church groups have been formed just because of some ‘new’, revealed truth.  What follows is usually fruitless for God, and sometimes even disastrous.  By simply taking the time to study early Christianity, many would have discovered the tried and true paths.  Jesus and His Apostles laid them down and they’ve never changed.  Whenever the Church has returned to them, they have always produced wonderful fruit for God’s Kingdom.  History confirms this.

R-’Repentance’?  What’s that word?  To the Antinomian, repentance means, at the most, saying they’re sorry for their sin.  As far as it being one of God’s absolute “conditions”, never would such a thought come into their mind.  That would be salvation by works, right?  Wrong!  Although repentance is rarely preached about, it is an absolute necessity to our salvation.  What it means is rarely understood correctly.  Scripture alone makes it crystal clear that without Biblical repentance, there can be NO salvation.  True repentance is NOT just feeling sorry for one’s sin.  It is more than that.  It means a complete change of mind respecting one’s sin and selfish ambitions.  However, whoever heard of someone having a complete change in “thinking” without “seeing” the results in actions.  Interested in the difference between true and false repentance?  Read 2 Corinthians 7:9-11 and Hebrews 12:17 for starters.

I-The Church as a whole, especially in Western Church, is into ‘Idolatry’.  How is that?  By placing their leaders above Christ.  They idolize them, their teachings and authority above God’s Word.  “Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.  Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mark 7:6-7).

S-One thing can be counted on in regard to an Antinomian, however.  They are fairly consistent in making promises they feel no obligation before God to keep.  To them ‘it’s the thought that counts’, in the heart, not the actions.  They are free to ‘Say’ and not do.  They’ll offer to do all sorts of loving, out of the ordinary caring acts, but if their own needs come in the way, which usually happens, guess what folks?

Instead Jesus, has some black and white words to say about this.  He says, “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment”, and “let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” or “lest ye fall into condemnation” (Matt. 12:36; Mt 5:37; James 5:12).  Condemnation means going to hell, no matter what your teachers tell you.

T-Their emphasis on ‘Teachings’, seminars, retreats, Bible Schools, etc., take the place of being taught by God, Godly men and spending time with God in prayer and fasting.  Their Christian focus is centred on this pastor’s or person’s teachings.  They are ever going here and there following/attending this or that teaching.  Elaborate sales pitches like “he is such a gifted/powerful speaker/teacher” or “it is such a life changing teaching or principle” are often heard with nary a mention of the Name of Jesus.  I want my life given to Christ Jesus, not some teaching or principle.  Antinomians seem to be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  After they have ‘matured’ in their (Antinomian) faith, “they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;” (2Tim. 3:7; 4:3). 

THE CONCLUSION

The Bible gives evidence that the early Church was on it’s guard against such heresy.  In Romans 3:6-8, Paul said that already there were some teaching that he was preaching, “Let us do evil, that good may come”.  He asked, “Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”  His answer was (listen Antinomians!), “Certainly Not!” (Rom. 6:1-2).  And yet I hear, time and time again, so called ‘Christians’ saying, “Of course, we know we will always sin every day, but God forgives us and always will”.  If that’s Christianity, then they better rewrite their Bible to accommodate it!

James was very clear when he said, “I will show you my faith BY my works.” (James 2:18).  However, the Antinomian is deceived into believing that they can live completely different from what they say they believe.  Come on!  We all know actions speak louder than words.  However, when it comes to this point in modern Christianity, reality and logic fly right out the window.

Peter had much to say about those who are “free in Christ” to serve their own desires.  “But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government.  Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.  Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption (2 Peter 2:10-12)

Reading on through verse 22, Peter makes it quite clear that they weren’t destined simply to miss the rapture, but a real fate worthy of their lawlessness awaits them.

Actually, I must confess that I feel fairly qualified to speak about this subject, having been sucked into it myself years ago.  It does not work!  I now look back on it with shame and a heart felt repentance, for if we have God’s Spirit, we should know better.  I could write a book about this heresy of heresies.  In our day, it usually develops from the “Sloppy Agape”, and “Greasy, Cheap Grace” preaching.  However, God’s Word provides adequate teaching against such easy believism.  If we will but cast off the spiritless logic from some systematic teachings and read the Bible for what it says and means to each one of us personally, then we “shall know the truth, and the truth shall make” us free.

However, I can not help but feel sadness and holy grief for those who would lure new, zealous lambs of God away and into Antinomianism.  I have sadly witnessed many of my friends having their faith shipwrecked, because of it.  Call it Antinomianism, Easy Believism, Grace only or the Carnal Christian doctrine; it doesn’t work!  It’s 180° out of phase with reality and with what God wants, says and is.

In ending, I must be frank in saying that I believe very strongly that the widespread preaching of Antinomianism is the number one reason why the world today sees no reality in Christianity.  If you don’t think that’s what the world thinks, then you haven’t been listening when they talk among themselves.  With so many living and preaching Antinomianism, I believe it is the primary reason “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles” (Rom. 2:24).  The life style of Antinomians is the “reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of” (1 Pet. 2:2).  Because of it, Christianity has become and still is, from all anyone can see, just a another abstract BELIEF in certain doctrines and truths.  In the end, it is nothing more than just a religious social club, like Rotary or Lions, with morals that, many times, aren’t any higher than the standards of these society clubs.  The world no longer stands in awe of the person who is a “stranger and pilgrim on this earth”.  No longer do they witness those who so love Jesus that they have counted “all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus”.  The words of Jesus “for whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” have no place in the Antinomian’s mentality.  Until Antinomians see what they are doing, having “counted the blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done dispite to the Spirit of grace”, how can there be a revival?

Find the Way of Escape

the-serpent

Find the Way of Escape

Paul reproved, rebuked, and exhorted the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 6:11-7:1 for falling into sin. By conforming to the world’s standards, they were prevented from avoiding sin and pursuing holiness. They even risked losing their fear of the Lord.

First the reprove/rebuke:

“O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto you, our heart is enlarged. Ye are not straitened in us, but ye are straitened in your own bowels. Now for a recompence in the same, (I speak as unto my children,) be ye also enlarged.”

They had become carnal and were conformed to the world. They were fellowshipping with those who knew not salvation and watered down the apostle’s doctrine. The snares of their culture shaped their church, their understanding, and their ways.

Then the correction; to stop and repent:

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? . . . Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing;

The Exhortation: . . . and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

Jesus also exhorts us, who are believers, to continue and stand firm in the apostles’ teaching and that alone, “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast” (Rev. 3:3).

Our standard for faith and practice is found solely in the Bible: not in a denomination, not in the early church fathers, not a popular preacher, nor a historic statement of faith. Rather, our authority was written 2,000 years ago and it is the pastors’ and deacons’ responsibility to adhere to it. The believers are also wise to compare what they hear with scripture (Acts 17:11) and act accordingly.

The church has no authority to change or modify any New Testament teaching in order to make it fit today’s culture. Jesus says a great deal about this in Revelations 2 and 3. We’d be wise to heed His words and prepare ourselves for the rest of what is coming, lest we fall leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Today’s world is so sophisticated we sometimes fail to see the snares around us and those already entrapping us.

I pray we have eyes to see and the wisdom to avoid temptations leading to sin, we must consider the source, mark it, and consciously decide not to let it overtake us. Sometimes that means staying away from the influence altogether. Jesus promised that we can overcome the temptations of this world and we have a holy and solemn responsibility to do so.

So, find the way of escape. He has made a way. His promise is always with us if we search it out like treasures of gold and precious silver.

This is the promise:

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13

This is something I am personally working on. As I find verses pertaining specifically to this, I will add them below in hopes that others may be encouraged as well!

a) “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Rom. 13:11-14).